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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 10/19

October 4, 2019
Harold Goodwin
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  1. Finalists World Responsible Tourism Awards
  2. The WTM London Responsible Tourism Programme
  3. Don't look away - protect children 
  4. What advice would you give to Consumers?
  5. Water Security - what can you do? 
  6. The Carbon Challenge 
  7. Consumers want the industry to offer sustainable tourism. 
  8. Do you have videos you'd like to show at WTM?
  9. Tourism Taxes 
  10. Carbon-free travel, hope or hype?
1. Finalists World Responsible Tourism Awards
The 14 finalists for this year's World Responsible Tourism Awards have been published. The Awards will be presented at WTM, London at 11:00 on Wednesday 6th November. Since last year, we have introduced a Judges’ Award, used to recognise businesses which achieve in multiple categories and have been previously recognised several times and are judged outstanding.  CGH Earth Hotels was recognised with a Judges' Award earlier this year in India.  We created the “ones to watch” category, for businesses which we hope will apply again when they have been pursuing their initiative for longer, have more evidence to share of their impact or when there is a more appropriate category for them to enter. There are some emerging leaders here. 

2. The WTM London Responsible Tourism Programme
The full RT programme for WTM, London
has now been published there is a broad programme across the triple bottom line from child protection to managing crowded sites. Barcelona is sharing their cutting edge approach to managing accommodation letting and overtourism. We have a session on the challenge of building sustainable hotels when ownership, build and operation are separated. There are panels and roundtables on Saftey & Security, water security, guiding, inclusive tourism, the conservation of wildlife and habitats, decarbonisation and aviation. We are also celebrating the work of the Youth Career Initiative and there is a panel of Decent Work and an interview with Kate Nicholls, CEO,  of UK Hospitality  Kevin Curran of Unite London Hotel Workers Branch.

3. Don't look away - protect children

If you witness something suspicious report it. More countries need to join the platform: dontlookaway.report

4. What advice would you give to consumers?
At WTM, London this year we are launching some pages fo advice for travellers, tourists and holidaymakers about how to travel responsibly and to avoid post-trip guilt. If you have advice for travellers and holidaymakers about how to travel more responsibly please send in the url(s) and we link them to our resources page. Send them harold@haroldgoodwin.info
Seth Kugel writing in the New York Times is worth a read. Water Security - what can you do?


5. Water Security
We are already experiencing more extreme weather events with heatwaves, droughts and floods. There are shortages of potable water in many places around the world but not everywhere. We have a panel at WTM, London in November on Water Security, looking at flood and drought. But what can a tourism business do if they are not in a drought area? You could fundraise for Reed's water charity Just a Drop  Belu supplies, installs and regularly services a high-quality filtration system, the business provides filtered water and makes a voluntary charge for each bottle served, Belu gives 100% of its profits to Wateraid. Their impact reports are here.  2.3bn people don't have a toilet - by toilet twinning, you can make a a contributuion and raise awareness so that others contribute.

6. The Carbon Challenge
Intrepid encouraged its partners and agents to take part in the global mass day of action and closed their global headquarters so that staff could join the protests. Geographical has pictures of action around the world. Meanwhile in the UK Easyjet's decision to operate flights between Birmingham and Edinburgh, 285 miles. The flight will take 70 mins, the train takes 5 hours, and the flight will be cheaper than the train. Flight Free have got pledges not to fly in  2020 from 3,500+ people. We are a long way from achieving the changes in behaviour and technology we need to reduce carbon emissions from planes.

The Global Commission on Adaptation is focusing on concrete solutions, arguing that there is a business case for investing in adaptation, with trillions of dollars to be made in early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture crop production, global mangrove protection, and investments in making water resources more resilient. Download the report 

16 year of Greta Thunberg has sparked an international youth movement, Fridays for Future. Her speech at the UN can be watched here.    In Sweden fewer people are flying, passenger numbers were down 4% at Sweden's airports in August, there was a similar fall of 4%, year on year, in July.  Research by UBS suggests that flygskam or flight shame is spreading. UBS surveyed 6,000 people in the U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K.,  21% said that they had reduced the number of flights they took over the past year out of concern for the environment. UBS is forecasting significantly lower rates of growth in flying in Europe and the USA. more

In the UK the Committee on Climate Change is urging that aviation growth be limited to  25% and that a “frequent flyer levy” be introduced.   Currently, the government is planning for a 49% increase by 2050 when on current trends it will be the biggest source of UK carbon emissions. The  “frequent flyer levy”. Analysis shows that 70% of UK flights are made by 15% of the population, with 57% not flying abroad at all. more

There is no evidence to date that the growth in the concentration of CO2 is slowing.  The graph can be found here 

7. Travalyst & Consumers
"We have the opportunity to address this tourism paradox and turn one of the world’s biggest problems into one of its greatest solutions." The Duke of Sussex 
"Travalyst is a bold new global initiative founded by Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa, with the ambition to change the impact of travel, for good." Travalyst    Travalyst, is ‘aimed at improving conservation, environmental protection and expanding local community economic development by encouraging sustainable tourism practices across the travel industry,’ ‘The partnership will initially explore and promote solutions that help drive sustainable practices and consumer choices in areas including; supporting local people, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and environmental damage, and alleviating over-tourism.' The initiative has been broadly welcomed but there is a long way to go and there is concern about untrammelled growth and support for carbon offsetting. Justin Francis  in TTG

Hannah Sampson in the Washington Post
Booking.com's chair, Gillian Tans speaking at the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in London last month said that “71 per cent of our customers want companies to offer more sustainable options,”  The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, has also  argued that humanity needs to beat "greed, apathy and selfishness" to guarantee its survival. more

8. Do you have videos you'd like to show at WTM?
This year at WTM, London there is an 80" screen in the Responsible Tourism cafe which will be showing short videos about RT technology and solutions, as well as videos raising awareness of the issues. If you have video that you would like included on the RT Screen please send the url to harold@haroldgoodwin.info

9. Tourism Taxes
The Scottish government has launched a nationwide Transient Visitor Levy Consultation, the idea is to introduce aa Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax. more   The European Tourism Association (ETOA).has published on tourism tax rates, they identified 125 destinations in 26 European countries. Only 9 countries of the 28 EU member states are not charging tourism taxes: Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Tom Jenkins, executive director of ETOA, is reported as havign said that tourist taxes are a “xenophobic gag reflex” to the growing popularity of a holiday hotspot and that additional levies aimed at visitors are “a very localised form of economic self-mutilation” and hurt the people towns and cities hope to attract. Daily Telegraph

10. Carbon-free travel, hope or hype?
Coradia iLint trains have now been in commercial passenger service for a year, powered by hydrogen fuel cells they emit only water vapour, 140km/hr, 1000km range, virtually silent, and no expensive & ugly overhead wires. The SNCF Chairman Guillaume Pepy believes that hydrogen-powered trains represent “a real solution” even if there are still “plenty of problems that need to be addressed,”more       There is a pilot project planned at Rotterdam airport for the commercial production of jet fuel. Electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is mixed with the captured CO2 to form syngas, which will then b transformed into jet fuel. The CO2 is reused, it is emitted as pollution, captured as a raw material and reused. more  Neil Cloughley of Faradair will be speaking on the Future of Aviation panel at WTM, London on November 6th. Faradair is pioneering hybrid electric flight. CLIA, the cruise lines, released a report earlier this month showing that 44% of new cruise ships will be liquefied natural gas (LNG)  fired and that 75% of new ships not relying on LNG will have exhaust gas cleaning systems installed. 88% of news ships will be fitted with shore-side electricity systems or configured to add shore-side power in the future. The first battery-powered cruise ship has set sail to the Arctic.

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